I took the volume to the counter
where the bookseller said to me,
“You do realise, sir, that today
is Buy One Get One Free.”
So I went and chose another book,
and waited patiently in the queue,
but this time he pointed at a sign
which said Three for the Price of Two.
I thought I’d go for something lighter
and so I came back with a thriller.
The bookseller said, “The Impossible Dead!
That means you get to sleep with Cilla.”
His assistant took me by the hand
and led me into the stock room;
we made love against an unsold stack
of biographies of David Hume.
The bookseller had more to say,
when I returned to the shop floor,
“As the 100th person she’s had this year,
here are the keys to the store.”
He took an urgent phone call and said
“It seems that you’re in luck again.
Head Office have told me to tell you
about “Win One Store, Get the Chain.”
And so it went on for days and weeks,
each special offer bigger than the last,
I won shops, businesses, countries, planets,
my empire was boundless and vast.
It wasn’t easy running the universe;
indeed, every spare moment it took.
So busy was I, no matter how hard I tried,
I never got to read my book.